Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

requiring time to grow into the notice of the world, it happened very luckily, that, a little before I had resolved upon this design, a gentleman * had written predictions, and two or three other pieces in my name, which rendered it famous through all parts of Europe; and, by an inimitable spirit and humour, raised it to as high a pitch of reputation as it could poffibly arrive at.

By this good fortune the name of Isaac Bickerstaff gained an audience of all who had any taste of wit ; and the addition of the ordinary occurrences of common Journals of News brought in a multitude of other readers. I could not, I confess, long keep up the opinion of the town, that these Lucubrations were written by the same hand with the first works which were published under my name; but, before I lost the partition of that author's fame, I had already found the advantage of his authority, to which I owe the sudden acceptance which my labours met with in the world. The general purpose of this paper is to ex,

pose * Dr. Swift. See Swift's “ Works,"? vol. III. p. 198. See also Steele's Original Preface to the TATĻER.

+ " During the prevalence of parties and prejudices, he that “? would be believed by every body, should be known to no

body, left, instead of listening to the good advice of the cen• for, the censured should endeavour, by retorting on bis frailties, to extenuate or juftify their own.'' "" Although the TATLER joined an odd furname to no very

common

pose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour. No man has a better judgement for the discovery, or a nobler fpirit for the contempt of all imposture, than yourself; which qualities render you the most proper patron for the Author of these Eflays. In the general, the design, however executed, has met with so great success, that there is hardly a name now eminent among us for power, wit, beauty, valour, or wisdom, which is not subscribed * for the encouragement of these vo. lumes. This is, indeed, an honour, for which it is impossible to express a suitable gratitude ; and there is nothing could be an addition to the pleasure I take in it, but the reflection, that it gives me the most conspicuous occasion I can ever have, of subscribing myself, Sir, your most obliged, most obedient, and most humble fervant,

ISAAC BICKERSTAFF.

« common Christian one, there was a man found in this large " town, who owned both the names. SWIFT's “ Letters," vol. XV. p. 408.

* See the lists at the beginning of the new edition.

[blocks in formation]

LETTER CCCXCI *.

To EDWARD WORTLEY MONTAGUE, Esq.t. SIR,

[1710]. THEN I send you this volume, I am

rather to make you a request than a

WH

.

* Prefixed to the second volume of “The Tatler."

+ Second fan of the Hon. Lady Wortley Montague, and grandson of Edward Montague, the first Earl of Sandwich. He was chosen a member of parliament for Huntingdon in the 4th year

of Queen Anne; and in all other parliaments but two to the end of her reign. On the accesiion of George I. he was constituted one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury : and being sent Ambassador-extraordinary to the Grand Signior, he set out for Vienna, Jan. 27, 1716, and proposed to be at Peterwaradin in eight days; and, having finished his negotiations, he, with his Lady, arrived at Leghorn, Aug. 22, 1718, in the Preston man of war, from Constantinople, and failed the next day for Toulon ; and, travelling through France, arrived in England, and waited on his Majesty at Hampton-court, O&t. 4 following, and was graciously received. In the first parliament called by King George 1. he was chosen for the city of Westminster, and afterwards served for Huntingdon, and was a member for the city of Peterborough yhen he died, it is said, very suddenly, Jan. 22, 1761, aged 80 years, without being able to alter his will, as he intended, in favour of his son, an extraordinary and ingenious man, author of the “ Reflections

the Rise and Fall of ancient Republics," &c. of whom see several new and interesting particulars in the Notes on TaTLEN, vol. I. p. xli. Mr. Montague married the Lady Mary Pierrepont, eldest daughter to his Grace Evelyn Duke of Kingston, an uncommonly fine woman, of very superior understanding, authoress of a little volume of excellent poems, and three volumes of curious letters; and by her (who died August 21, 1762), he had issue the abovementioned only fon Edward. Wortley Montague, who was representative in three parlia. ments for Bossiney in Cornwall; and a daughter Mary, married to John Stuart, Earl of Bute, Aug. 24, 1736. 1

Dedication,

on

I am

Dedication. I must desire, that if you think fit
to throw away any moments on it, you would
not do it after reading those excellent pieces
with which you are usually conversant. The
images which you will meet with here, will be
yery faint, after the perusal of the Greeks and
Romans, who are your ordinary companions. I
must confess, I am obliged to you for the taste
of any of their excellencies, which I had not
observed until you pointed them to me.
very proud that there are some things in these
Papers which I know you pardon ; and it is
no small pleasure to have one's labours suffered
by the judgement of a man, who so well un-
derstands the true charms of eloquence and
poesy. But I direct this address to you; not
that I think I can entertain you with my
writings, but to thank you for the new de-
light I have, from your conversation, in those
of other men.

May you enjoy a long continuance of the true relish of the happiness Heaven has bestowed upon you! I know not how to say a more affectionate thing to you, than to wish that you may be always what you are ; and that you may ever think, as I know you now do, that you have a much larger fortune'than you want. I am, Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant,

ISAAC BICKERSTAFF,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

LETTER

LETTER CCCXCII*.

[ocr errors]

Isaaco BICKERSTAFF, Armigero, Magnæ Britanniæ

Censori, s.

9 Cal. Jun. 1710. ORIÆ encomium Thomæ Moro, cui nil

erat magìs alienum quàm Mori nonien, Erasınus infcripfit: nec ergo quis miretur has Obscurorum Virorum Epistolas Viro Clarissimo, hos Morologos Moriâ ipsâ ftultiores Tibi mitti, ISAACE GRAVISSIME ; qui unus, inter tot nugivendos potiùs quàm scriptores ubique nunc temporis ad nauseam obvios, nofti non ineptire : qui fcis ex fumo (ut ait Flaccus) dare lucem ; in gracili materiâ fterilique argumento copiosè juxtà atque sapienter differere, inter ludicra ferius, inter jocos philosophus ; qui ridiculum acri, dulci utile miscendo, junctis ingenii fimul et argumentorum viribus, Britannos potes tam feliciter à vitiis deterrere, ad virtutem hortari.

Patere, Cato Britannice, ex obsoletis seculi superioris ruderibus altáque quam superstitio intulerat ignorantiâ, iftud Arcadicum hominum specioso Theologorum Magistrorúmve nomine insolenter gloriantium pecus accerfi; et æternâ licèt nocte dignos, à tenebris tamen ad lucem, à

to

* On the subject of this letter to Steele, which was prefixed

Epistolarum Obscurorum Virorum, ad Dm. Ortuinum “ Gratium, Volumina II.” See the Notes on the TATLER, vol. V. p. 211.

mortuis

« НазадПродовжити »